We recently hung some lights on the trees outside our house. The extension cord just runs to a plug in the garage. When we want the lights on, we plug them in. When we want the lights off, we unplug them. Simple enough right?
Turns out doing that is kind of a pain.
To solve this problem, I picked up wireless remote controlled outlet switches made by Etekcity, a California based electronics company. The kit comes with five plugs that I can turn on and off with a remote. The kit comes with two remotes. It says 100′ line of sight but the signal penetrates walls, I can turn the lights off inside the house without being the garage. May the wonders of technology never cease.
When I went through the box, I found a little card explaining their “Etekcitizen” program. The basic gist is that you sign up to their program, get free stuff, and then review it on Amazon.
100% free products??? Amazing!
I signed up for Etekcitizen and requested something I needed, motion sensor LED nightlights. In the winter, I wake up around 5:30 – 6 AM. It's dark. I'd just like a nightlight by my bed so I can get dressed without waking up my lovely wife. Right now, I fumble in the dark. Honestly, it's not really a problem … but it'd be nice to have motion sensor LED lights. 🙂
What's Going On Here?
I'm friends with Steve Chou, of My Wife Quit Her Job fame, and I learned a ton about the world of ecommerce through him. (he also runs Seller's Summit, a must attend event if you're in that world too) All of these companies, like Etekcity, are ecommerce companies selling millions of dollars in product on Amazon.com. It's a very competitive business and they're always looking for an edge.
What's that edge? They are all competing to be listed higher in Amazon's search results. They get listed higher when they have higher star ratings and more reviews. They will aggressively and frequently ask their customers to leave reviews, which I find no fault in.
What they also do is “bribe” their customers, through these “loyalty programs,” with free products to leave reviews.
How Do I Get Free Products?
The simplest way is to find one of the many marketplaces that connect buyers like you with companies who need product reviews.
In most cases, you can get the product at a significant discount. Sometimes, the product is completely free. In nearly all cases, you'll be expected to leave a review or you won't be eligible to receive any additional free or highly discounted products.
Mechanically, many of the marketplaces will give you a coupon code you enter to get the big discount. This is so that your review will be shown with the coveted “Verified Buyer” badge. If they just sent you the product, your review wouldn't have that listing.
Here's a list of companies that do it (there are dozens of these, I only list the ones that appear reputable):
- Deal Go! Go! Go!
- HisGadget Super User Program
- Honest Society
- UberZon Club
Enjoy the free (or heavily discounted) stuff!